Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Princess for a Day

The final country on our whirlwind tour of Europe was Slovakia. Getting there was no picnic thanks to the permanent state of construction on Polish roads. Once we hit Slovakia, however, it was smooth sailing. Despite being at least three hours behind schedule, we were thrilled to check into the Grand Castle.

This was our one splurge stay during the trip and we had been looking forward to our night in this restored castle for weeks. Even walking to our room for the night was a bit of a medieval trek. We walked through arched corridors, up the wooden stairs of an old tower, only to have to walk down a set of stone stairs a few minutes later. In the half-light of dusk, every detail of the castle appeared well preserved.

The room we booked turned out to be massive. The first room we entered was the kitchen we ended up eschewing in favour of the rather disappointing hotel restaurant. Through a large wooden door was a bedroom fit for a princess and her prince. All around us, the original stone of the castle’s tower surrounded us and seemed to echo the memories of the people who once dwelled within these walls.

Up a pair of stairs was a huge sitting room with a low domed ceiling. There were numerous low-set arched windows spilling the last rays of the day’s sun into the shabby chic room. Between the bed and all the seating in the living room, a group of 4-6 friends could easily have stayed there to share the cost of the sumptuous room.

The icing on the cake was the large bathroom situated down another few stairs from the sitting room. The only downside to the luxuriously appointed bathroom was the typical European-style claw tub, which had not been retrofitted for people who preferred showers. (Confession: I do prefer baths but we were on a time crunch.)

When we finally awoke the next day, we spent the better part of the day exploring the region surrounding this beautifully restored castle. We walked through a lovely park popular for its natural hot springs and past a ski lift that promised endless hours of winter fun. But we couldn’t tarry for long because we had a long-standing appointment with the city of Bratislava.

24 comments:

Jennifer said...

I am chomping at the bit to do a european tour! I want to stay in a castle! I want to walk through a park with natural hot springs! *sigh* You do realize I'm living vicariously through you, right? ;-)

Corinne said...

How wonderful! Is Slovakia still relatively cheap in comparison with other European countries? Because a sumptuous room in a castle may be just what the doctor ordered after all this moving broohahah!

Nicole said...

That sounds like a great place to stay!
But hey, where is the rest of the pics of the princess chamber??

:)

illahee said...

oh, jealous!!

Debbie in Nashville said...

Thanks so much for stopping by!! I will have to read more of your great blog because it looks like you are all over the place! I love it.

Saw your post about Auschwitz and know what that was like. I studied for a semester in Krakow when I was in college and visited Auschwitz too. It was extremely hard from me since some of my family were killed in the Holocaust.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Typ0 t, that is a wonderful experience.
What wonderful place!
Have a lovely day!
hugs hugs

Fruitful Vine2 said...

Arched windows, claw foot tub, massive room, castle - sounds like a movie. I'm glad you had the chance to experience it.

LadyFi said...

I do like medieval architecture! Lucky you to have enjoyed it up so close.

Yaya said...

How cool!!!!!!

Susie said...

Oh no! The European tour is almost over? Where are you going next?

cat said...

Oh gosh, that sounds like such a treat. My hubby rates any acomodation according to the shower, the same way I rate any restaurant on their creme brulee.

Miss Footloose said...

Castles! What a fun adventure you had in Slovakia. I remember spending a few nights in a couple of restored castles in Spain (paradores) when our girls were little. Boy, they were impressed. And seriously put out when we ended up sleeping on the floor of a horse stable afterward (in France). Good for them. Their princess airs were not what we wanted to last tooo long ;-) us not being royalty and all...

Glad you enjoyed your Princess experience. It's great fun to see all the different ways people live and have lived in the past.

Mayhem and Moxie said...

So very, very nice! You two definitely have a thorough appreciation for the finer things in life.

I love that your blog still allows me the ability to daydream!

-Francesca

Mommy of Many said...

I am so jealous. I dream of traveling and traveling and more traveling, but those dreams of traveling must wait until the 6 little ones leave the house. I guess now that I've found you I can live my dreams through you for now.....beautiful pics.

dropping in from sits

staceyjwarner said...

Wow, absolutely enchanted...so fun to splurge...

much love

The Blonde Duck said...

You're truly a princess now!

sprinkles said...

That Castle sounds Grand, indeed! The way you described the room, I think I'd want to spend all my time there rather than leaving to explore the country! But I'm very girly that way!

Sounds like you're having a wonderful time on your vacation.

Grand Pooba said...

I love the look of those tubs but yes, they aren't very convenient! I can't believe you stayed in a castle! I bow down your highness!

Anonymous said...

I agree--where are the (other) pictures of the room that you stayed in?
Sounds fantastic!
merthyrmum

Life with Kaishon said...

You are so kind : ) Thank you for your lovely comment. It looks like your trip is wonderful!

Lynn said...

Oh man I haven't had a good read that wasn't a dinner recipe in quite a long time. I love your style and I am in awe of your traveling romps! May this economy one day facilitate a similar trip for me and the hubs in about 8 years. That's the plan! :o)

My best, Lynn
*can't wait to see where you are next!

Sharon said...

that's way cool. I can see why you were looking forward to it... that's the stuff dreams are made of!

Sandy said...

What a great treat to give yourselves! Sounds wonderful

Fida said...

You know how to treat yourself ;-)

I'd love to publish this article on my website. Would you mind to contact me at fida.wild@gmail.com?